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10 Best Places to See Salmon Spawning Around Seattle and the Eastside

Go, salmon! Where to spy salmon in rivers and creeks around town

Fiona Cohen
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Published on: September 21, 2021

10 Best Places to See Salmon Spawning Around Seattle and the Eastside

Young boy at Ballard Locks fish ladder viewing windows watching spawning salmon swim past
Photo:
Viewing windows at the Ballard Locks salmon ladder. Credit: Natasha Dillinger

1. Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, Seattle

At the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, commonly known as the Ballard Locks, boats of all sizes ease in and out of Seattle’s ship canal. A few yards away, spawning salmon thrash their way up a 21-step fish ladder, which is actually more like a staircase of water.

From the refurbished viewing area, you can watch the salmon swim through the 18th "step" through underwater windows. Whether you spot a salmon or not, the Ballard Locks make a great destination for families any time of year.

When: Peak viewing times are in September, and some stragglers continue through October. In normal seasons, there are regular free tours, but they're suspended right now.

Location: 3015 N.W. 54th St., Seattle

When: September and October

More info: Salmon SEEson Ballard or call 206-783-7059. The Ballard Locks Facebook page also has helpful info.

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